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Holiday Giving in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Areas

Kids with their friends in warm winter coatsAs the holiday season approaches, many people begin to look for a charity or organization to donate to. Whether you are looking to donate warm winter items, gift cards or holiday gifts, there are charities seeking donations near you in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. Read below to find 4 charities seeking holiday donations!

Ann Arbor and Detroit Charities

One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit and seeks to provide a free winter coat to anyone in need. This organization has locations all over the United States. Since One Warm Coat was founded, they have hosted 34,000 coat drives and given away more than 6 million coats.

Ozone House

Homelessness for youths is a problem for not only the entire country, but also Washtenaw County. Ozone House seeks to help these youths with shelter, individual or family counseling, support, life skills training, help with enrolling in school or food. Ozone House is always in need of blankets, toiletries, clothing in adult sizes, bus tokens and gift cards. This holiday season, they are also accepting food for holiday parties, gift cards, and gifts for students through a giving tree.

Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Charities

Mel Trotter Ministries

Mel Trotter Ministries seeks to bring an end to homelessness in West Michigan through rescue and restoration. This winter, Mel Trotter Ministries is asking for waterproof winter boots, waterproof gloves, hats, socks, underwear and more all in adult sizes. Additionally, new or like new items can be donated to sell in the Thrift Store. Items needed by the organization can also be purchased on the Amazon Wish List online and shipped to Mel Trotter Ministries.

Warm Kids Project

The Warm Kids Project has been delivering warm coats to kids in the Kalamazoo, MI area since 1986. Kids that do not have warm clothes to wear during the winter may not go to school. This organization is seeking financial donations to purchase winter coats and boots for the kids. If you would like to donate time, the organization is also in need of volunteers for fundraising events.

Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI!

We are proud to support the organizations and charities benefiting those residing in the areas around our storage facilities. Whether you are looking for storage for a few boxes and other miscellaneous items, or rooms of furniture during a move, we have a storage unit for you. Reserve a traditional or climate controlled storage unit today!

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Interior Design Tips 2019

A stylish living room inside of a homeEvery few years, you may decide that your home needs a fresh look. Maybe your living room has slowly stared to look outdated, or maybe your entire home needs some love. Following a few simple interior design tips can really help to give your home an updated feel. Are you interested in learning more? Read these 7 tips below!

7 Essential Interior Design Tips

  1. Create a focal point: Take a good look at the room you are trying to change. Does it have a natural focal point? Maybe it’s a fireplace, large window or brick wall. If it doesn’t, add an accent wall or large colorful area rug.
  2. Find an inspiration piece: The easiest way to redecorate your home is to find an inspiration piece. For example, when shopping for pieces for your home, did you find a pillow you really like? Or do you have a picture from a magazine you’d like to mimic? Use this as your inspiration piece to guide the rest of your purchases.
  3. Use light colors in small rooms: If your living room, tv room or dining room is smaller area, paint it with lighter colors. Lighter colors can help to open up a space and make it look bigger.
  4. Add decorative mirrors: Just like painting the room with lighter colors, adding large decorative mirrors to a room can help to make a room look larger and more open. Decorative mirrors reflect natural light and can help to add dimension to a room.
  5. Hang artwork at the right height: A common mistake people make when decorating their home is to hang decorations too high above furniture. Artwork and wall decorations should actually be hung between three to nine inches above furniture pieces. Hanging your artwork too high above furniture pieces makes the eye naturally go to the black space between the furniture and decoration.
  6. Add with large plants: Plants are a great way to give your home some character. Place large plants in your living room, dining room and hallway to make your home stand out.
  7. Consider hardwood flooring: Adding hardwood floors to your home can really increase the value of the home. Hardwood floors are not only stylish, they also are relatively easy to clean.

Declutter Your Home with a Storage Unit Rental!

Another way to make your home look more organized and put together is to declutter it. Whether your house is cluttered by personal belongings, decorations or furniture, a house with too many items can quickly look cramped. To avoid taking up too much storage space inside of the home, consider storing seasonal or items that aren’t used as often in a storage unit rental.

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas. Our storage facilities have both traditional and climate controlled storage units available for rent. Reserve a storage unit today!

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Moving Out Checklist for Apartment and House Renters

A woman packs boxes ahead of a moveAre you moving out of your apartment or rental? Moving is not only a lot of work, it can also be very stressful. But, the best way to mitigate stress leading up to a move is to be prepared. Are you interested in learning more? Check out our moving out checklist below!

Moving Out Checklist for Weeks and Months Ahead of Your Move

As Soon as You Decide on Your Move

  • Review your lease: As soon as your move becomes official, start looking over your lease. If you will be breaking the lease or moving before your lease is officially up, it is important to know that there may be some penalties for doing so. Additionally, check the lease for information about who is responsible for cleaning and how much time you have to give in advance for your move.

Two to Three Months in Advance

  • Assess the damage in your apartment: Walk through your apartment and look for discoloration or stains in the carpet, marks on the wall or other damage that may be a concern for your landlord. Additionally, if you hung pictures or shelves from the walls, plan on spackling these holes. Make note of these issues, and plan on talking to your landlord about which areas you should fix ahead of time and which areas may be included in your lease.

One Month in Advance

  • Give notice to landlord: Generally, landlords require one month notice ahead of move out. If your landlord requires a longer notice, make sure you meet their timeframe to avoid being hit with costly penalties.
  • Contact renter’s insurance: Next, contact your renter’s insurance company and let them know about your move. Depending on where you will be moving next, you may have to cancel or change your insurance.
  • Rent a storage unit: Moving all of your belongings on one day can be very overwhelming. Depending on how big your rental is, and how many belongings you have, you may benefit from renting a storage unit to slowly move unneeded belongings into. As you’re packing up your boxes, simply bring the boxes containing items you will not need until after your move to a storage facility. This can help to alleviate the amount of stress the day of your move.

Weeks in Advance

  • Follow up on moving day plans: During the weeks leading up to your move, consider reminding your landlord about your moving day plan. Additionally, follow up with any moving truck rentals and professional movers to ensure they will be there the day of.
  • Start cleaning: Once you hear back from your landlord about your responsibilities for your apartment, you’re able to make a game plan for cleaning and repairs. Your moving day will sneak up on you, so try to start cleaning and making repairs as far in advance of your moving day as possible.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities All Throughout Michigan

Are you looking for a storage facility near you? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities in major Michigan cities, such as Kalamazoo, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, Detroit, MI and Ann Arbor, MI. With so many convenient storage unit size options, we are sure to have the ideal storage unit for you no matter the storage need. Reserve your storage unit today!

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How to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

A man cleans out the guttersFall is officially here! Just like transitioning your wardrobe to fall, with warm sweaters, jackets, and mittens, it is essential to also get your home ready for the change in seasons. Read below to find 6 tips for getting your home ready for fall.

Get Your Home Ready for Fall and Winter 2019 in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Check for drafts: Before the weather gets cold, check your home for drafts. A drafty home is not only uncomfortable, it is also expensive. To check your home for drafts, light a candle and move it along the edges of windows and doors. If the flame flickers, there is likely a draft. If you notice a draft, replace the seals or add additional caulking wherever needed.
  2. Inspect the furnace: In order to ensure your home will be properly heated, hire someone to inspect your furnace for heating efficiency, change the filter and check for leaks. At this time, it is also a good idea to replace the HVAC filter.
  3. Trim any overgrown branches: While everyone loves trees in the front and back of their yard to provide shade for the house, if they get too overgrown, they can be hazardous to the safety of your home. Overgrown branches combined with heavy snow can increase the risk of the branches snapping and falling on your house. To prevent this from happening, trim back any branches that are too close to power lines or your house.
  4. Store seasonal furniture: In order to keep your seasonal furniture in the best condition, do not leave it out all winter long. Seasonal furniture should be cleaned and then stored in a climate-controlled storage unit.
  5. Prepare winter snow equipment: You don’t want to wait until the first snow to discover that your snow blower doesn’t work or that you’re out of salt for the sidewalks. Instead, test your snow blower ahead of time to make sure it is still working. Additionally, inspect your shovels for signs of wear and tear and make sure you have enough salt to last all winter.
  6. Clean out the gutters: Before the end of fall, clean out your gutters. It’s amazing how much leaves and debris can get stuck in your gutters during the summer and early fall. When cleaning out your gutters, check for any visible leaks.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities Throughout Michigan

With the start of fall, it is time to start thinking about the holiday season. During the months leading up to the holiday season, many people choose to declutter their homes to make room for holiday decorations and guests. With a storage unit rental, homeowners and renters can easily store items that aren’t needed very often in a secure location that is close to their home.

Are you looking for a storage option in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo areas? Self-Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan, with many convenient storage unit sizes available to renters. Reserve your storage unit today!

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Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Michigan Pumpkin Patches

A young girl sitting in a pile of pumpkins at a pumpkin patchFall is in the air! Before the Halloween season arrives, there’s nothing better than visiting a pumpkin patch to pick one to carve into a jack-o-lantern! Are you looking for a pumpkin patch near you in Grand Rapids, Detroit or Ann Arbor? Read below for a full list of local pumpkin patches and orchards!

Pumpkin Patches in Ann Arbor

Wing Farm

Wing Farm has a variety of sizes of different pumpkins and décor, as well as fall décor for sale for visitors. The farm also offers free hayrides to the pumpkin patch on both Saturdays and Sundays. This location is a real working farm, so visitors can also see the different animals, barns and tractors onsite.

Slow Farm

Slow Farm is a certified organic U-pick farm. Visitors to the farm can not only pick their own pumpkins, but also purchase a variety of other fruits and vegetables sold onsite. There will be raspberries, different greens, peppers, beets and winter squash for sale straight from the farm. New this year, popcorn, decorative corn and cornstalks will be sold.

Detroit Pumpkin Patches

Erwin Orchards

Erwin Orchards is back for another year offering a variety of fall produce and activities! Farm visitors can not only pick their own pumpkins, but also apples and raspberries. At the mill, visitors can purchase raspberry cider, apple pies, specialty bread, caramel apples, maple syrup, honey from hives on the orchard, apple butter, gourds, pumpkins and so much more! Young visitors can also enjoy finding their way through a corn maze.

Grand Rapids Pumpkin Patches

Wiard’s Orchards

Wiard’s is a local favorite in the area. Orchard visitors can pick their own pumpkins, drink cider, wander through a corn maize, enjoy a hay ride and more. All throughout October on weekends, there will also be a county fair! The orchard will have fire engine rides, mini golf, wagon rides, a giant slide, a play area, animal petting farm, inflatable and a bungee run.

Wells Orchards

At Wells Orchards, visitors can enjoy the pumpkin patch and corn maze and then head inside to shop from some local produce and goodies. There will be apple cider, caramel apples, donuts, fudge, gourds, mums and straw for sale.

Moelker Orchards & Farm Market

Moelker Orchards has been growing quality produce for over 100 years. The orchard offers a pick-your-own pumpkin option as well as fresh produce available for sale onsite. There is also a bakery onsite to purchase delicious dumplings, fudge, cookies, pastries and more.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities All Throughout Michigan!

Are you looking for a storage facility in Grand Rapids, Detroit or Ann Arbor? Self Storage Specialists has both traditional and climate controlled storage facilities with a variety of storage unit size options available. Reserve your storage unit today!

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5 of the Best Restaurants in Ann Arbor

Zingerman’s Delicatessen door signHungry? If you live in the Ann Arbor area, there are so many delicious and unique restaurants to choose from for your next date night, local hangout, and more. Get your appetite ready, and check out this list of our favorite local Ann Arbor restaurants below!

The Top 5 Ann Arbor Restaurants

1. Logan Ann Arbor

While Logan is located in Ann Arbor, it is far from what you’d expect of a college town restaurant. This restaurant started as a dream by its three owners, with the goal of creating a location where restauranteurs could stretch their creative wings. This contemporary and elegant restaurant features “New American” cuisine, which is a blend of French cooking techniques and influences of contemporary America.

2. The Standard Ann Arbor

The Standard Bistro & Larder is another local favorite. This restaurant is known for its local dry-aged meats, handmade pastas, fresh bread, and coffee to top off the meal. Throughout the year, the restaurant also hosts different events, and fundraisers.

3. Zingerman’s Delicatessen

On any list of the top Ann Arbor restaurants, you will always find Zingerman’s Delicatessen. This spot is not only a local favorite, but after catching media attention, many people travel from all over to try this famous restaurant. Whether you’re looking for a delicious corned beef sandwich, a vegetarian meal, or even a salad or desert, this restaurant has something for everyone.

4. Aventura

Aventura is a tapas restaurant with a menu filled with fresh, fragrant and flavorful food. The dishes are smaller and designed to be shared, ideal for enjoying with friends and family members. This restaurant is vegetarian friendly, with many tasty snacks available regardless of your dietary preference or allergies.

5. The Raven’s Club

Another local favorite, The Raven’s Club, serves delicious bar snacks, small plates, sandwiches, salads, desserts and more. Since this restaurant focuses on local vendors, the menu changes quite often.

Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities in Ann Arbor, MI

Self-Storage Specialists strive to support the businesses surrounding our local storage facilities. Self-Storage Specialists has storage facilities in Ann Arbor, MI and the surrounding areas. Our storage facilities have both traditional and climate-controlled storage units available. With a variety of sizes available, including the 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 storage unit, we are sure to have the perfect storage solution for you. Reserve your storage unit today!

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How to Organize a Storage Unit for Frequent Access

A couple packs boxes for their storage unitWhen renting with a self-storage facility most renters do not access their unit frequently, however, it isn’t uncommon to have a renter that chooses to do so. Whether you are a business owner storing your inventory and equipment, or a traditional renter simply looking to check in on your storage unit, it is essential your unit is properly organized. Organizing your storage unit for frequent access will help you save time, each time you visit. Interested in learning more? Try out these tips below!

7 Frequent Access Storage Unit Organization Tips

  1. Strategize the layout: In order to keep your storage unit organized, it is important to think before loading items inside. Spend time creating a map of where you want each category of item to go.
  2. Group your items into categories: When planning out the layout of your storage unit, try to group items you want in your storage unit into categories. For example, keep all clothes in one corner, and all documents in another.
  3. Make sure all boxes are labeled: While this step may seem simple, it is still very important. Before putting any box into your storage unit, make sure it is clearly labeled with a list of contents. It’s a good idea to label all 4 sides so regardless of which way the box is facing, you can still get a clear idea of what is inside.
  4. Prioritize items by location: If you will need the box of extra inventory more often than other items in the storage unit, keep it in the front. Items that are not needed as often can be moved to the back.
  5. Store larger items closer to the walls: Once the high priority items are identified for the front of your storage unit, plan on storing the larger items closer to your storage unit walls. Place any remaining smaller items in front of the larger items. This layout allows you to have a clear view of everything in your storage unit.
  6. Make path down the middle: If your storage unit is a 5×10 and bigger, create an aisle leading from the front of your unit to the back. This will help you to access the items in the back of your storage unit much easier.
  7. Consider vertical storage: One of the easiest ways to keep your storage unit organized is to add shelving. Shelving frees up space by preventing too many smaller items from cluttering the ground level.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI!

We are proud to have storage facilities throughout Michigan, including in major cities such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo, MI. Our storage facilities offer convenient storage features, such as truck rentals, drive up units, as well as climate controlled storage units. Reserve your storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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Fall Fun in Michigan for Families

A kid with pumpkins at a pumpkin patchFall is a great season for spending time with your family outdoors enjoying all that the season has to offer. The kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter, and fall is quickly approaching! Are you looking for a family friendly fall day? Read below for 4 different fall events in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo area!

Fall Fun for Kids

Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard County Fair

Saturday and Sunday’s September 7th through the end of October

Wiard’s Country Fair is back for another year!

Activities to enjoy at the fair:

  • Corn maze
  • Giant slide
  • Cider mill
  • U-pick apples and pumpkins
  • Apple canon
  • Petting farm
  • Miniature golf

If you are unable to make it to the Country Fair you can still enjoy many of the same things at Wiard’s. A few of the everyday activities include, u-pick apples and pumpkins, glass of cider, hayrides, finding your way through the corn maze, and so much more!

Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo

Weekends in October
Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo is a family friendly event for all to enjoy! Many different activities bring fun and excitement for all ages. Zoo Boo is a “merry-not-scary” event and is more than visiting your favorite zoo animals. Some of the activities you might enjoy, mimes, aerialists, superhero re-enactments, jugglers and stilt walkers, a corn maze, pumpkin smasher and haunted creatures.

Harvest Fest in Rockford

September 27th through 29th
This year is the 43rd Annual Harvest Fest in Downtown Rockford! This event will feature a chili cook off, Classic Car Show, trick-or-treating, scarecrow contest, live entertainment, corn hole, food vendors, pumpkin decorating and so much more! This is the perfect event for all ages.

Pure Michigan Color Tour

As the leaves start to change, enjoy the fall colors by doing the Pure Michigan Color Tour! Whether you want to bike, walk, or ride in a car during this tour, there is a path for you! Michigan is known for its beautiful fall colors, so don’t miss out on this experience!

Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids!

There really is nothing like fall in Michigan. We hope your family gets to enjoy everything the season has to offer this fall!

Self-Storage Specialists storage facilities are located throughout Michigan, including in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas. Our storage facilities have a variety of storage unit sizes available for rent, including the 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 storage facility. Reserve your storage unit today!

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Labor Day Events in Michigan: Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Kalamazoo

A young boy feeds a donkey at a fairLabor Day weekend is quickly approaching! During this long weekend, it is common to spend time cooking out, camping, and attending parades and community events with family members and friends. Are you still looking for something fun to do with your Labor Day weekend this year? We’ve got you covered! Read this blog for a list of exciting Labor Day events taking place all throughout Michigan!

Nearby Detroit and Ann Arbor Labor Day Events

Saline Community Fair

August 28th to September 1st
The Saline Community Fair is back for another year! This event will feature many different fun activities including: a euchre tournament, a pie baking contest and auction, talent shows, a rodeo, and so much more! There will also be carnival rides, livestock, and farm animals.

Michigan State Fair

August 29th to September 2nd
There are so many fun things to do at the Michigan State Fair! There will be a giant pumpkin contest, a baking contest, a cow made of butter, a dog performance, fireworks, live music, various food vendors, and so much more! This event is fun for the whole family!

West Michigan Labor Day Events

West Michigan Labor Fest

Monday, September 2nd
On Labor Day Monday, visit Ah-Nab-Awen-Park in downtown Grand Rapids for a day of fun! This event will feature free rides on the kiddie Ferris wheel, “Berry-Go-Round,” and jump house as well as face painting, ice cream, a penny throwing contest, food trucks, and more! There will also be live entertainment, an “American Made” car show, and work from local artists and crafters.

John Ball Zoo

All year long
If you’re still looking for something fun to do, consider vising John Ball Zoo with your family! The John Ball Zoo is open all year long and offers exciting educational and informative events. At the zoo, visitors can see a number of different animals and exhibits.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities in Michigan!

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan, including in major cities such as: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Detroit. Our storage facilities have convenient storage features including truck rentals, drive up units, indoor units, and they sell all of the packing, moving, and storing supplies you’ll need. With convenient sizes like the 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 storage units available in both traditional and climate controlled, we are sure to have the perfect storage solution to fit all of your self-storage needs! Reserve your storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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5 Helpful Back to School Tips for Parents with Young Kids

A mom hugs her young kid before schoolAre you ready for the new school year? Try out these 5 back to school tips to start the school year off on the right foot!

Back-to-School Tips for Elementary School Parents

  1. Exercise the brain: During the summer, kids can unfortunately lose a lot of the knowledge they had learned during the previous school year. In order to dust the cob webs off of the brain, encourage reading and writing during the weeks leading up to the new school year.
  2. Visit the school and meet the teacher: If the school has a Meet the Teacher Night, plan on attending with your child. Walking through the school and seeing where the cafeteria, gymnasium, office, and classroom are will help to ease nerves. When you and your child meet the teacher, ask him or her about the best means of communicating throughout the school year.
  3. Start your routine ahead of time: Going from a summer routine to a school routine can be a huge change for the entire family. The week before the first day of school, start practicing a back-to-school routine-set the alarms for earlier in the morning, make a breakfast that can be eaten on a school day, and even walk to the bus stop. Setting simple routines like this can help to shake the back-to-school jitters.
  4. Go shopping for school supplies: Shop for back-to-school supplies before the school year starts. This may not only help your kids to feel more excited for the new school year, it also can help them feel more prepared.
  5. Create a homework area in your home: Designate a space in your home as the homework area. This will not only help to promote healthy study and homework habits, but it will also limit distractions.

Stay Organized all School Year Long with a Storage Unit Rental!

With a busy schedule filled with soccer practice, dance rehearsals and cub scout meetings after school, it can be difficult to find time to organize the house. By the end of the week, cleaning and organizing it can be a full-blown project. One thing that has helped many families to stay more organized throughout the school year is renting a storage unit to store out-of-season clothing, sports equipment, and more. With less items clutter in your house, organization becomes a breeze.

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan and in major cities such as: Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and metro Detroit. Our storage facilities offer a number of convenient storage unit sizes including 5x5s, 5x10s, and 10x10s. Reserve either a climate-controlled or a traditional storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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